Long lines for COVID-19 vaccines build in Florida, Tennessee, Puerto Rico

By ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — As the United States’ uneven vaccine rollout continues, lines for vaccination have begun to form in places such as Tennessee, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, dozens of cars queued up Thursday morning, the first day that those 75 and older were eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Just after 10 a.m., the county health department issued a notice on Twitter, asking those farther back in the line to leave and come back another time.

In Florida, after Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded vaccine eligibility to those 65 years and older using an executive order, hundreds of people in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, brought coats, chairs, blankets and tents to wait in line overnight Tuesday and get the vaccine on Wednesday.

“Supply is limited,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “We don’t have enough vaccines for all 4 million plus senior citizens in Florida.”

Abdulla Benkhatar, who is 90 and was first in line at a local recreation center, told ABC News Fort Myers affiliate WZVN-TV that he began waiting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

“We’ve been at home for almost 10 months now,” Benkhatar said. “It’s really important to me, for my health, and to be able to do things I like to do and get back to normal.”

In Puerto Rico, health care workers have consistently been lining up at the Pedrin Zorrilla Coliseum in San Juan trying to get vaccinated, according to the Miami Herald.

Some had returned multiple nights in a row to try and get a shot, while others had defied Puerto Rico’s 9 p.m. curfew to line up on a highway overnight.

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